London Film Festival Day 3: La La Land, The Handmaiden & American Honey

1. American Honey

La La Land Ryan Gosling Emma Stone
Focus Features

Though its greatness is undeniably stunted by its 163-minute run-time, Andrea Arnold's (Red Road, Fish Tank) long-awaited fourth feature is a fearless character drama about a young drifter (Sasha Lane, in an astonishing acting debut) who joins a traveling magazine-selling crew headed up by the charming Jake (Shia LaBeouf) and fierce Krystal (Riley Keough).

Arnold takes a massive gamble by both giving her epic story enormous room to breathe and shooting the movie in her signature 4:3 ratio, both of which surely damage its commercial potential but result in a singular, unforgettable experience.

Lane is a real find here and delivers a heartbreaking, savagely committed performance, while Labeouf brings some much-needed levity even if he could be accused of over-acting and therefore clashing somewhat with Arnold's more grounded tone.

Rating: It certainly could've been trimmed down by a half-hour or so, but with beautiful cinematography, empathetic writing and direction and a fleet of exceptionally naturalistic performances, American Honey is one of 2016's true originals, flaws and all. 7/10


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.